Podcast: Interview with Immigration Attorney Henry Lim
RJ Hello listeners. This is the Legal Translation Podcast. Today I will be interviewing immigration attorney Henry Lim. Hello Henry and welcome to the show.
HL Hi Reed, thank you very much.
RJ Tell me about yourself, Henry. Where are you from and what led you to practice immigration law?
HL I was born in Nicaragua, which is located in Central America and we moved to the States back in 1980 after escaping a civil war in Nicaragua. Our family underwent many years of struggle with the immigration process and along that way, several legal obstacles occurred, and it motivated me to learn more about immigration law.
So when I went to law school, I dedicated my studies to immigration, and participated in many pro bono projects; the Haitian Refugee Center, the Immigration Advocacy Center, and I'm very excited about it and I'm still very passionate about it eighteen years later. So that's a little bit about the reasons why I find it important to fight for people's dreams. And that's what we do every day. If people want to live in this country, we want to do everything possible to help them achieve those dreams.
RJ Wow! Next question: Why is it important for an immigrant to hire an attorney?
HL Well, immigration law is very complex. It is very important for people to seek proper advice, and what happens too often is that people get trapped into notarios, notaries or paralegals who do not have the legal capacity to offer advice, and every single question on immigration forms has a legal consequence, so the mere fact that helping someone fill out an immigration form can be considered giving legal advice and if one is not properly trained, one can get into some very serious problems.
I always tell people, people always ask me, "Do I need an immigration attorney?" And my answer is always, "No, you don't need one, but should you get one? Absolutely." And another thing that—a misconception with immigration as well, and this is why so many people get into trouble is they think that because it happens to my neighbor, because it happens to this person, that it necessarily has to happen for the next person as well. And immigration law is so complex that one slight variable that people may or may not catch makes all the difference within immigration.
So it's not a matter of just because it happens to one person that it will happen to the next person. And finally, a very serious misconception is that immigration law is simply filling out forms. Immigration law is about strategy, about knowing proper procedure, and how to zealously advocate for your client.
So there are many reasons why someone should hire an immigration attorney, particularly one who is experienced in immigration law. Because we're seeing today far too often the fact that a lot of people all of a sudden claim to be immigration experts or immigration lawyers when they have absolutely no experience or they have limited experience. One of the things about our practice here and the way that I was trained coming out of law school was to be trained in all aspects of immigration law. And what I mean by that is that I practice deportation, I practice citizenship, I practice family based, employment based, investors.
Why do I do this? Because if a client comes to my office, and they present a certain fact pattern, then I w